Michigan lawmakers to tackle blood alcohol content legislation

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February 15, 2013

Michigan

By Zac Humphrey

LANSING, Michigan: Michigan's legal drunk driving blood alcohol limit could rise to .10 come October 1st if state lawmakers do not act.[1]

Legislation passed in 2003 by the Michigan State Legislature lowered the legal drunk driving blood alcohol from .10 to .08. The Michigan House Criminal Justice committee has heard testimony on a bill that would keep the limit at .08. This bill is expected to pass out of committee and be voted on by the full Michigan House of Representatives sometime next week.[1]

The bills advocates say that by maintaining the current limit, the state would save $50 million in federal highway funding. This bill has the support of law enforcement and Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD). Andrea LaFontaine (R), the bill sponsor, says that, "this is really common sense and shouldn’t have any problems."[1]

According to statistics available from the 10 years since the limit was first lowered to .08%, drunk driving arrests have fallen in Michigan by 32%. Deaths related to alcohol have dropped from 340 in 2003, to 253 in 2011.[1]

Michigan Police Sgt. Perry Curtis regularly does demonstrations on the effects of alcohol and how a person becomes intoxicated. He described exercises done where participants are given a set of fake keys and then told to return them when they feel that they are too impaired to drive. He mentioned that they often turn them in "between 0.04% and 0.06%."[1]

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